the-eagles-2-600x401Is This Right? Former Eagles Members Not Welcomed at Kennedy Center Honors

As most of you know by now the Eagles are set to receive the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in December. The big night in Washington D.C. will have the four last members of the band, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit, and Joe Walsh accept the honor. A family member should be there to represent the late Glenn Frey. But very much alive and not welcomed will be former Eagles members Don Felder, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. That did not sit well with many fans of the group. So much so that over 10 thousand fans signed a petition to include the three guitarists.

In the end though they will not be included and this was the statement. “The Kennedy Center consulted with the Eagles and through that discussion, it was determined that the four band members who ‘carried the torch’ — Don Henley, the late Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit, and Joe Walsh — will be awarded the Honors. We appreciate that there will be some debate about who constitutes the Eagles. This determination does not discredit the contributions of former band members.”

We’ve talked about many variations of Eagles reunions on this channel but there are two members who will probably never be in the band again. First, original member Randy Meisner who sang “Take It To the Limit,” “Midnight Flyer” and “Try to Love Again” among others. He quit in 1978. Some say he’s suffering from a bi-polar disorder, a traumatic brain injury or alcoholism. The bottom line is he just can’t physically or mentally do it. I interviewed Randy in the early 2000’s and we talked for over 90 minutes and he was fine then but it really seems that things have changed. He was placed on a 72-hour psych hold in a Los Angeles hospital after his wife Lana Rae shot herself in March of this year.

In 1974 Don Felder joined the band on their “On the Border” album. He was a huge part of their more electric sound. He even came up with lots of guitar parts for “Hotel California including the iconic beginning. He was fired from the band in 2001. A lawsuit was settled out of court but there’s more bad blood between Henley and Felder than Donald and Rosie.

Founding member Bernie Leadon left in 1975 but he toured with them recently and I thought he, at least, would be included.

eagles-original-2Just like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with all the drama with Peter Cetera and Chicago, drummer Bun E. Carlos being out of Cheap Trick and getting a chance to be on stage with them Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple and then that whole Steve Miller thing…and that’s just this year.

The 2016 Kennedy Center Honors will take place on December 4th in Washington, D.C at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and will be broadcast on December 27th on CBS.

What do you think? – by John Beaudin.


John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver.

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